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  #1  
Old March 20th, 2010, 12:44 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Default Which of the advanced photoshop functions are gems to you?

Guys,

I recently discovered that I had totally forgotten about the feature of photoshop that allows one to duplicate or insert features in pictures and obey optical rules of perspective with objects reshaped to follow the images perspective and have distant parts recede. I needed to replace the top of a pano and without taking account of converging lines, it looked awkward. Luckily, both Cem and Bart swiftly came to my aid and reminded me to look under planes and vanishing point.

I realized then that there were so many such riches in Photoshop that we don't use every day and simply our lives by forgetting them.

So here's a list of my favorite under-used tools:

planes and vanishing point: allows one to add windows, put a logo on a truck or pictures and words on a billboard on a building that's seen from an angle or totally repair a complex brick wall even though t recedes.

blend if: This is the dialog box one finds when one clicks on the right blue space of any layer. Besides the oft used shadows, there's wealth of control based on tone and color one can also use.

What are your hidden favorites that you would suggest we don't ignore?

Asher
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  #2  
Old March 20th, 2010, 05:42 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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I'll add the Auto Align function under Edit. I had to have a number of pictures of a pianist at a piano but although my tripod was fixed something must have moved a tad and the Steinway jogged between shots taken hours apart. Moving them by hand, got me close but not exactly perfect. Selecting them and several goes at AutoAlign corrected that n the entire piano except the raised top. I solved that by cloning the same top into all versions. Frankly, I've never used that function. It's good to know it works!

Asher
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  #3  
Old March 20th, 2010, 08:04 PM
Ruben Alfu Ruben Alfu is offline
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Smart objects seem to be a very handy feature, actually I haven´t experimented a lot with it.
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  #4  
Old March 21st, 2010, 06:35 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruben Alfu View Post
Smart objects seem to be a very handy feature, actually I haven´t experimented a lot with it.
It's useful in being able to say sharpen several parts of a layered composite photograph in one go without fusing all the layers first.

The largest potential for me is being able to swop out and original file for an updated version processed say with a better RAW translator and have all the layers above do their work on masking etc on the latest version. However, I've never got you using that although now I think I'll have a go at this function!

Asher
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  #5  
Old March 26th, 2010, 05:12 PM
Ruben Alfu Ruben Alfu is offline
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Asher, I just learned which is going to be my favorite advanced function:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XFEBamdtdiI&NR=1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NH0aE...layer_embedded

According to this video, PS will be able to replace the content of an image im a way that makes the clone and stamp tools pale... you have to see it to believe it.
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  #6  
Old March 26th, 2010, 09:15 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruben Alfu View Post
Asher, I just learned which is going to be my favorite advanced function:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XFEBamdtdiI&NR=1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NH0aE...layer_embedded

According to this video, PS will be able to replace the content of an image im a way that makes the clone and stamp tools pale... you have to see it to believe it.
Yes,

I posted about that new feature and it will be one of my most used tools, saving me so much time. It's really amazing! As Lightroom gets better one would think PS is no longer needed, but for busy folks, this is so valuable as a time saver.

Asher
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  #7  
Old March 28th, 2010, 10:51 AM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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Channels and Blend modes.
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  #8  
Old April 4th, 2010, 09:05 AM
Joe Thomas Joe Thomas is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fahim mohammed View Post
Channels and Blend modes.
+1. Blend modes are often overlooked I think and they are fairly simple to implement. I love them!
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  #9  
Old April 4th, 2010, 11:06 PM
Daniel Buck Daniel Buck is offline
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I use photoshop in a pretty basic manor. Just layers, layer masks, and curves for 95% of my work.

One thing I do find handy, is the ability to group layers, and nest things inside of groups, and apply layer masks to groups. This is pretty handy when doing alot of masking and color correcting through masks.
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  #10  
Old April 5th, 2010, 12:37 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Buck View Post
I use photoshop in a pretty basic manor. Just layers, layer masks, and curves for 95% of my work.

One thing I do find handy, is the ability to group layers, and nest things inside of groups, and apply layer masks to groups. This is pretty handy when doing alot of masking and color correcting through masks.
Now Daniel,

I must admit, I've never used that! It seems a good idea. I save my selections from masks to use them on other layers, but color correcting through groups and nests is interesting. I must read up on that.

Asher
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  #11  
Old June 7th, 2010, 05:48 AM
Sandrine Bascouert Sandrine Bascouert is offline
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To me obviously smart objects, I love the mask, sample point and adjustments new panels, particularly the "define edges" in the mask panel (saves me a lot of time), then I'll say the stack and merge function in Camera raw (a bit OT maybe), content aware scale (very under used but quite handy) and that all...The vanishing point is still puzzling to me (I don't really need to use it so...), as well as the layer comps, but I need to "need" it to put my head under water and catch the fish.
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  #12  
Old June 7th, 2010, 09:33 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandrine Bascouert View Post
To me obviously smart objects, I love the mask, sample point and adjustments new panels, particularly the "define edges" in the mask panel (saves me a lot of time), then I'll say the stack and merge function in Camera raw (a bit OT maybe), content aware scale (very under used but quite handy) and that all...The vanishing point is still puzzling to me (I don't really need to use it so...), as well as the layer comps, but I need to "need" it to put my head under water and catch the fish.
Sandrine,

Are you talking CS5 already? That's really up to date! I do not have my copy yet and still on CS4. The content aware scale is where? That's the ability to scale and get rid of an aunt one does not like or widen and create a space for the niece!

Asher
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  #13  
Old June 7th, 2010, 04:23 PM
Sandrine Bascouert Sandrine Bascouert is offline
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The content aware scale in under Edit on CS4, unfortunately I don't have CS5 (that features content aware FILL)- at least not before I bought more inportant things such as: Wacom intuos wireless A5
A new decent camera (a reflex, obviously)
A profiling device...and more to come.
PS
" That's the ability to scale and get rid of an aunt one does not like or widen and create a space for the niece!"
yes indeed, or the uncle, depends who was the drunkest on that wedding photo!
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  #14  
Old June 7th, 2010, 06:59 PM
Nill Toulme Nill Toulme is offline
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The sharpening and noise reduction functions in ACR v6.1 are pretty amazing.

Nill
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  #15  
Old June 7th, 2010, 07:45 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nill Toulme View Post
The sharpening and noise reduction functions in ACR v6.1 are pretty amazing.

Nill
How did you find that out? What do you compare the new capabilities with?

Asher
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  #16  
Old June 8th, 2010, 01:37 AM
Sandrine Bascouert Sandrine Bascouert is offline
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I love them too, but still don,t understand why it seems that you cannot see the changes if you're not in 100%. I know it makes sense in a way but there's no technical impossibility to check at for example 50%...


Can I recommend a book for ACR?
I greatly improved my understanding of Camera Raw with "the photoshop CS4 companions for photographers" by Derrick Story. Easy to read, very smart, no-non sense, well, pretty good.Sorry for the advert :-)
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  #17  
Old June 8th, 2010, 01:43 AM
Sandrine Bascouert Sandrine Bascouert is offline
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And for the "content aware scale", I don't use it so often but sometimes it helps me to resize a picture AND be respectful of the composition. eg. if you have important elements on the corners of the image but don't want them to be cropped. So define an alpha channel that "hide" these elements and then you can scale the image (it's a transform tool, not a crop tool) without touching these elements, the rest is transformed the usual way.
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  #18  
Old August 17th, 2010, 03:04 PM
Kevin Stecyk Kevin Stecyk is offline
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Asher, this channel blending and blend-if stuff interests you, here's excellent resources you might wish to use:

1) Professional Photoshop: The Classic Guide to Color Correction (5th Edition) [Paperback]

2) Photoshop LAB Color: The Canyon Conundrum and Other Adventures in the Most Powerful Colorspace [Paperback]

3) Dan Margulis Videos on KelbyTraining.com.

Please note, I used my Amazon affiliate links for the first two books, items one and two. Dan Margulis wrote the first two books. With regard to Kelby Training, you can join for one month to determine if the site is appropriate for your interests. And during that time, you can watch many of Margulis's videos. I found that I needed to watch them several times. I should rewatch them again to brush up.
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  #19  
Old August 18th, 2010, 11:40 AM
TJ Avery TJ Avery is offline
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Default Which of the advanced photoshop functions are gems to you?

For a year and a half now, I've been working on this type of photography when I've had the opportunity to be in a dark location:






I've written a 32 page article on shooting this type of scene:
http://www.texbrick.com/photo/notes/starshots.pdf

Hopefully it will serve to educate and to inspire, so I present it here. And maybe, somebody might have suggestions or pointers that can help me (and us) better this technique!

Thanks!
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  #20  
Old August 18th, 2010, 11:40 AM
TJ Avery TJ Avery is offline
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Default Which of the advanced photoshop functions are gems to you?

For a year and a half now, I've been working on this type of photography when I've had the opportunity to be in a dark location:






I've written a 32 page article on shooting this type of scene:
http://www.texbrick.com/photo/notes/starshots.pdf

Hopefully it will serve to educate and to inspire, so I present it here. And maybe, somebody might have suggestions or pointers that can help me (and us) better this technique!

Thanks!
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  #21  
Old August 30th, 2010, 05:51 AM
Joachim Bolte Joachim Bolte is offline
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And back to the main topic of this thread... PS-functions. :)

Top of my list is most certainly the Curves tool.

Lately I've been diving into the L*a*b-mode pool, and I must say I absolutely love it. Especially when correcting color casts like in underwater pictures. The handling is very intuitive, and the results are stunning

Especially in that mode I love to use the 'blend if' layer settings as a masking tool.

Also the 'calculations' and 'apply image' tools come in very handy. Also the 'high pass' filter when sharpening, and the 'hiraloam' use of the USM filter gives me nice results from time to time.
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  #22  
Old August 30th, 2010, 11:13 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joachim Bolte View Post
And back to the main topic of this thread... PS-functions. :)

Top of my list is most certainly the Curves tool.

Lately I've been diving into the L*a*b-mode pool, and I must say I absolutely love it. Especially when correcting color casts like in underwater pictures. The handling is very intuitive, and the results are stunning

Especially in that mode I love to use the 'blend if' layer settings as a masking tool.

Also the 'calculations' and 'apply image' tools come in very handy. Also the 'high pass' filter when sharpening, and the 'hiraloam' use of the USM filter gives me nice results from time to time.
Joachim,

"Blend if" and calculations must be some of the two most underused tools. if you have some good examples of their use, that would be valuable.

Asher
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  #23  
Old August 30th, 2010, 11:51 AM
Joachim Bolte Joachim Bolte is offline
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What springs to my mind is effects that you don't want to have applied to the very light and very dark parts of an image. For instance a sharpening layer. Or a color correction. Or a film-grain.

If you shove in the sliders at both ends for 'underlying layer', and use the alt-button to pull them apart and get a smooth blend, those look more realistic.
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  #24  
Old August 30th, 2010, 12:34 PM
Bart_van_der_Wolf Bart_van_der_Wolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joachim Bolte View Post
What springs to my mind is effects that you don't want to have applied to the very light and very dark parts of an image. For instance a sharpening layer. Or a color correction. Or a film-grain.

If you shove in the sliders at both ends for 'underlying layer', and use the alt-button to pull them apart and get a smooth blend, those look more realistic.
Hi Joachim,

I fully agree. I've been advocating the use of Blend-if in combination with sharpening for a long time. Here is a setting that is a good starting point and which is applied to the sharpening layer:

It avoids clipping of edges that already have high contrast or features that are on the verge of clipping. Blend-if functionality can also be used together with masks for even more tuned effects, or for separate highlight, midtone, and shadow manipulations (in fact any part of the tonescale).

Cheers,
Bart
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  #25  
Old August 30th, 2010, 12:47 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Could you explain how it works with the arrows from each end brought together in the middle as opposed to being 1/2 way in?

Asher
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  #26  
Old August 30th, 2010, 01:25 PM
Bart_van_der_Wolf Bart_van_der_Wolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Kelman View Post
Could you explain how it works with the arrows from each end brought together in the middle as opposed to being 1/2 way in?
Hi Asher,

Splitting the markers (dragging while pressing the ALT or Option key) creates a gradual transition between the left and right side of the marker. It avoids abrupt changes. Bringing in the extreme edges more to the middle will create a more abrupt transition, but there is no law again doing that ;-)

As I positioned them, as a start (but often good enough), the lowest and highest tones will be gradually excluded from the, in this case, sharpening operation, thus avoiding potential clipping. The midtones will be more or less sharpened as in the sharpening layer itself.

In my view, already high contrast edges need no enhancement because they already seem sharp. Sharpening sharp edges any more will easily cause clipping.

Cheers,
Bart
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  #27  
Old August 30th, 2010, 02:21 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Thanks Bart,

What is the heading "Regular @ 400% (Regular sharpening RGB 8#) referring to? Is it an action you have written?

and then there's the "Improved version too?

Asher
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  #28  
Old August 30th, 2010, 03:25 PM
Bart_van_der_Wolf Bart_van_der_Wolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Kelman View Post
Thanks Bart,

What is the heading "Regular @ 400% (Regular sharpening RGB 8#) referring to? Is it an action you have written?

and then there's the "Improved version too?
Hi Asher,

It's the effect of sharpening with a small radius along two opposing gradients, without (regular) and with a 'blend if' luminosity layer blending applied. It's just to facilitate the viewing of the effect (at 400% zoom) at different contrasts/brightnesses.

Cheers,
Bart

Last edited by Bart_van_der_Wolf; August 31st, 2010 at 12:51 AM.
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  #29  
Old August 30th, 2010, 05:24 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Brilliant!

Thanks

Asher
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  #30  
Old September 7th, 2010, 02:20 PM
Joachim Bolte Joachim Bolte is offline
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here another example of using layer blends, adding believable grain to an image. Quite simple, and I used a much coarser grain than I would normally do.
The grain is a real-life scan, but if one would just 'overlay' it on a picture, it would affect the darker and lighter parts in an equal amount. In an actual picture there would be a point where the grain would get so dense that it would form solid black, and that it would be not-present where white is formed. Using the 'blend if underlying' sliders I fade the effect so that the blacks can be pure black, and the whites can be pure whites. If you look at the elbow of the portrait, you will see that the grain is much more believable then in the shot where no layer blending is used.

Same principle goes for lithography simulations.

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